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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Real Estate Report: Now is Prime Time to Sell or Buy

By Judy Szablak

The message is clear for the real estate market in Westport—now is a prime opportunity to sell a home and a great time to buy.

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Featured Home: This home at 17 Burnham Hill is listed at $4.7 million.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo courtesy of Coldwell Banker Westport-Riverside

Sellers should ensure that their property stands out from the competition with proper price positioning and home presentation, and buyers need to be ready for all opportunities.

When selling your home, arriving at an appropriate price has little to do with how much proceeds one would like to have when all is said and done.

Rather, it is based upon what the most similar-type properties have sold for in recent months, as these comparables are also what bank appraisers utilize to determine value on the bank’s behalf for the buyer. When the home is priced correctly for the location and its condition, it will sell. 

Your home’s presentation includes appearance and strategic marketing, which are key to a successful sale.  Decluttering, staging, minor repairs and cosmetic adjustments have a monetary value that cannot be ignored.

In addition, even the most well priced home that is not marketed correctly will not sell for top dollar, or in a timely fashion.

Buyers shouldn’t sit on the fence either. A lack of inventory, especially in the lower ranges, means that competition for that perfectly priced home is becoming fierce.

Come prepared with solid financing, be ready to make a quick purchase decision, and be reasonable with your offer and expectations. Some neighborhoods, and varying price pockets around town have already tipped towards a seller’s market. 

Sellers and buyers need to perform their due diligence as it pertains to the home they are selling, or intending to purchase. That includes understanding the market in general, and more particularly for the specific property.

Market Stats

Inventory continues on the rise, and as of today, there are now 281 homes that are are actively on the market. These currently available properties have been listed for an average of 114 days, with a cumulative market time of 218 days.

The average list price is now $2,487,715 and the median price is at $2,099,000.

A four-bedroom home on Beachside Avenue on 7.13 acres is the highest priced home for sale at $22 million, and the lowest available priced home is a five-bedroom home on 40 Ferry Lane East for $405,000.

Twenty-one new listings came on the market in the last seven days, and one property came back on the market after being under deposit, or temporarily withdrawn. Eight properties had a price change.

Ten properties have gone under the initial deposit stage, which we call CTS, and nine properties went into pending status, which means that the conditions have been satisfied, and the property is scheduled to close.

The average price of those nine properties was $1,502,556. There are currently 26 homes in CTS status throughout Westport, and another 42 properties scheduled to close town-wide, with an average price of $1,796,019.

Closings: There were five single family homes reported as sold in the last week, These five homes were listed on average at $1,306,400 and sold with an average market time of 179 days. There were 64 status changes in the last seven days.

Condos: There are nine condominiums that are available, and they have been listed an average of 50 days, with a cumulative market time of 64 days. Their average listing price is $719,533 and the median price is $559,900.

The highest priced condo in town is $1.3 million and is a three-bedroom home located at Terra Nova Circle, and the lowest priced unit for sale is a one bedroom home at Whitney Glen for $380,000.

There was one new listing this week, and no homes came back on the market after being under deposit. There was one price change, and one property entered into the initial stage of deposit. No homes entered into pending status.

There are three properties town-wide that are currently in CTS status, and there are no homes scheduled to close.

No sales were reported during the last week. There were three status changes.

Rentals: If you are interested in renting year round, either furnished or unfurnished, there are 39 homes or apartments available. The median price is $4,400 per month and the average price is $5,214 per month.

These year-round rental opportunities have been on the market an average of 87 days.

There are 31 short-term rental opportunities that are available, and they have been on the market an average of 47 days. Their average price is $13,187 and the median price is $10,000.

Please note that seasonal rental prices are sometimes listed as an aggregate price for the season, or they can be listed as per the monthly rental cost.

Source: Market Data is compiled from the GFC-CMLS and represents activity through our local MLS system. Private sales are not included in these statistics

Featured Home

This home at 17 Burnham Hill is listed at $4.7 million.

This 16-room shingle style colonial is perfectly poised at the top of Burnham Hill, and has year-round water views of the Mill Pond and Long Island Sound.

The winner of two distinctive HOBI awards from the Home Builders & Remodelers Association of Connecticut, this home was designed by Robert Storm and built by Bluewater Home Builders in 2011.

Four impeccably finished levels and over 7,500-square feet of living area include extensive handcrafted mill work, elegant details, and beautiful custom finishes.

The formal living room is to your left as you enter, has a custom fireplace, and enjoys year round water views.

The dining room also features year round water views, and has an octagonal tray ceiling, and specialty recessed paneled wainscoting. The butler’s pantry has a wine fridge, under-mount sink, and stone counters.

The custom gourmet kitchen features exceptionally designed cabinetry with interior lit uppers and under-cabinet lighting, and a center island with prep sink. Top-of-the-line appliances include the expected chef’s appliances, such as a Viking range with double ovens,  two refrigerators, two freezers, as well as two Bosch dishwashers.

The sunlit breakfast area is open to the garden room, which has a full-size glass door leading outside to the 1,496-square foot blue-stone patio with outdoor fireplace, heated in-ground pool, and rear yard.

The family room has coffered ceilings, custom built in cabinetry, and a stone fireplace flanked on either side by full size glass doors that also lead out to the patio, and overlook the .52-acre property.

A classically refined master bedroom suite is on the second level, and has a tray ceiling, fireplace and sitting room. There are outstanding views of Old Mill Pond and Long Island Sound, as well as a private covered balcony to enjoy a warm summer breeze.

The luxurious bath has a free-standing jetted spa bath, frameless glass shower and dual vanities.

Also on this floor are four additional bedrooms, two of which are en suite, and another two that share a “Jack and Jill-style” bath.

A sixth bedroom and full bath are on the third level, as well as the bonus room, which accesses a unique and amazing mahogany rooftop deck with fireplace offering panoramic views of Old Mill Pond and Long Island Sound.

The walkout lower level has another bedroom, large playroom with tray ceiling, exercise room,  and a 200-bottle wine cellar.

Schools—Greens Farms, Bedford, Staples.

Extras and items to note—six to seven bedrooms, seven full and one half baths, five fireplaces, 9- foot ceiling height on the first and second floors, main level den/study with built-ins, walk-in storage pantry, hydro-air heating, security system, central vacuum system, irrigation system, wine cellar with tasting room, city water, city sewer, heated in-ground Gunite pool with electric cover, hot tub, expanded patio with built-in grill.

Annual taxes are $50,262.

Listing/photo courtesy of Coldwell Banker Westport-Riverside.


Judy Szablak
(Editor’s Note: Judy Szablak of Coldwell Banker Westport - Riverside, Fairfield County CT Realtor since 1984 is author of “The Art of Buying or Selling a Home,” and featured on HGTV’s real estate show, “Desperate to Buy.” Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or visit her online at http://www.CThomesAndRealEstate.com.

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Posted 03/26/15 at 12:13 PM  Permalink



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